Leigh Bodden: Gunning for the Ravens

Rich Swerbinsky recently interviewed special teams standout Leigh Bodden for an article which will appear in the January 2005 issue of <I>Bernie's Insiders Magazine</I>. Bodden also talked a little about Sunday night's game against the Ravens, and what Baltimore might have in store for him...

Swerb: "How's the season been going so far for you?

Bodden: "It's been going real good.  I feel I've been able to make a big impact on special teams, and I've tried real hard to make plays when I've had a chance to play defense.  I'm just really trying to help this team win."

Swerb: "You've really gotten out to a great start on special teams, making plays week-in and week-out gunning kicks and punts.  What's the key to being a great special teams player?"

Bodden: "Attitude … and drive.  Going all out, full speed, laying everything on the line for that one play.  It takes a lot of heart to do it."

Swerb: "I've mentioned a couple times in my column that you should be considered for the AFC Special Team spot in the Pro-Bowl.  Is that something you think about?"

Bodden: "Yes, it is something I think about.  As a matter of fact, that's the goal I set for myself at the beginning of the season.  Right now, not starting defensively, I have to make plays on special teams.  And hopefully, I can be recognized with a Pro Bowl spot as a special teamer."

Swerb: "Has your extensive track experience (sprinter, long jump) at Duquesne helped you playing special teams?"

Bodden: "Yeah, it has helped.  My sprinting experience helped me develop long strides, which help me on special teams.  It's helped me a lot.  When running down kicks, it's key to get out of the gates quick."

Swerb: "Big game Sunday night at Baltimore.  National television, the Ravens are sure to be fired up after the beating we laid on them in week one.  What's the mindset of this team going into this game this weekend?"

Bodden: "The mindset is … win.  Our special teams coach read us an article this week mentioning how our division is a two-team race between the Ravens and the Steelers.  We've got to get it done this week.  It would pull us even with the Ravens, and we will have beat them twice."

Swerb: "Ravens or Steelers.  Which is the bigger rivalry?"

Bodden: "Oooh!  That's tough, they're both big.  But to me, and you've got to remember I went to college in Pittsburgh, it's the Steelers.  Simply because I know the hatred each team's fans have for each other."

Swerb: "Fired up to play against KJ this week?"

Bodden: "From what I've seen, he hasn't seen too many balls over there.  We pretty much shut him down the first game.  I know there are some guys that wouldn't mind hitting him a little hard."

Swerb: "You had a great game on special teams against the Ravens in week one.  Expecting to see a little extra attention this week from them?"

Bodden: "I think so.  That's what the coaches have been telling me.  They could be putting in a couple things for me.  I can't worry about them, I have to worry about making plays."

Swerb: "Little extra incentive, playing on national television Sunday night?"

Bodden: "Always.  The whole world will be watching and it's always a chance to prove yourself."

Swerb: "Thanks for taking the time.  Bring us home a win Leigh."

Bodden: "We're gonna try.  Thanks for calling."

The OBR Top Stories